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The ShikaIno Manifesto

Shikamaru and Ino are compatible:

Shika is laid-back, extremely intelligent, a born leader, loves to look at the clouds, and can tend to be unmotivated. Ino is bossy, loud, energetic, determined, loves stargazing, and is boy-crazy. Now, what exactly does this say about these two? Sure, they are very different, but opposites attract. And these two attract eachother.

They also fulfill eachother's needs and balance out eachother's flaws.

-When Ino is angry or upset, Shikamaru tolerates her and can cool her off.
-When Shikamaru is at his laziest, Ino cheers and encourages him to do better- which he does.
-When one of them is in trouble, the other helps them with all they have, and stays by their side; when one falls, the other is there to catch them (metaphorically and literally).

“I like to look up at the stars at night. Because they light up the sky the way you light up my life.”

But it’s what they have in common that makes them really…click.

As a child, Choji was bullied and left out by the other young boys in his age group. Shikamaru, understanding as he is, noticed this, and immediately his caring side was pulled out from him. He helped Choji by being a good friend to him and just by simply being there for him. In the process, Choji and Shikamaru became the best of friends. It's not difficult to see the good in Shikamaru with all the care and kindness that he so undoubtedly contains.

Sakura was similar to Choji in the way she was picked on and became an outcast as a kid. But Ino, though having a tendency to be somewhat superficial at times, went out of her way to be kind to her and help her off her feet, even though Sakura was considered ‘uncool’ by all the popular girls. Then Sakura- after Ino helped her gain confidence in herself, make friends, and be happy- later noticed that Ino liked the same boy as her: Sasuke. So she ended her friendship with Ino in order to win him from her. Though Ino eventually agreed to this and became her rival, it is obvious that she still cares deeply about Sakura, even after what she did to hurt her. Ino is constantly helping Sakura up when she needs it, despite Sakura’s inner and outer coldness towards her. What does this say about Ino? Though she can be obsessed with trying to make herself pretty for boys on the outside, she has a sort of compassion about her on the inside that cannot be easily surpassed.

“To handle yourself, use your head. To handle others, use your heart.”

Shikamaru and Ino have one important similarity amongst their differences, one factor that separates them from the rest and gives them the ability to see through each other: they both have kind and caring souls.

“We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.”

History from the beginning:

Remember in episode 3 of Part 1 when Naruto kept trying to win over Sakura's attention, and expressed how much he hated Sasuke because Sakura had a crush on him? Well, this is no NaruSaku argument, but when taking a closer look, something else can be assumed.

"I don't get it. What do you see in a guy like that? He's not so special." These were the exact words that Shikamaru said when Ino made a fuss about hating that Sakura got on the same team as Sasuke and she didn't. Funny that Shikamaru mentioned this, considering it wasn't really any of his business. Right after, Ino said that she wouldn't be on the same team as Shikamaru because he was 'so beyond clueless'. But, as we know, they were put on the same team together, and Shikamaru was very smug about this fact- alike in the way Naruto cheered when he got in the same team as Sakura. Why? Some would say it was only because Ino had gotten exactly what she didn't want, but when looking back at his earlier comment (see first sentence), I beg to differ.

I also find it strange how Kishimoto made one of Shikamaru's first lines be about him disliking Sasuke, and while he was sitting right next to Ino, who was known to be one of his biggest fangirls. If Naruto disliked Sasuke because Sakura liked him, I find it a very suitable conclusion that Shikamaru disliked Sasuke because Ino had a crush on him as well. It's just the only way it logically fits together. Something like this would be necessary to point out early on, with such obvious jealousy that it can possibly be foreshadowing something of significance.

"...Because you're the kind of guy who'd laugh at me when I fall, but then help me up and whisper, 'It's okay. I still love you.'"

Friendship over mindless infatuation:

Touching up on one of my earlier paragraphs, Ino and Sakura have had a rough time dealing with their mutual affections for Sasuke. It is necessary to dig into this in order to understand who Ino is and what exactly she stands for. As we have seen in one of the flashback episodes, when Sakura announces that she has a crush on Sasuke, Ino was clearly upset. She even said something about wanting Sakura to go back into her shell.

However, Sakura was the first one to drag this out. Since Ino didn't say anything about her crush on Sasuke, and Sakura was the first one to point it out and make a big deal about it, we can assume that Ino valued her friendship with Sakura over just a silly crush. It seems as though Ino decided not to bring it up because she didn't want to hurt Sakura's feelings and cause drama, even though Ino's feelings were hurt in the process. Assuming this, we can also conclude that friendship is something she considers to be above mindless infatuation. Yes, we see her portray quite a big scene of crushing on guys based on their looks throughout the series. But this does not necessarily mean that she's an airhead who's lost in daydreams. We very often see her show what she truly cares about, which is her friends.

If you're in agreement, consider this: Ino is very likely to love one of her friends above the rest. This friend would be the one who is always there to protect, help, and be there for her. Maybe she doesn't realize it, but Shikamaru is high up there in the running. Shikamaru and Ino already work well together and encourage eachother. They share laughter, trials, and good times with eachother. Mark my words, there will be a day when Ino sees this (if she hasn't done so already). There will come a day when Ino realizes that she values friendship over appearances. And that day will be when she looks deeper into the person whom she mainly shares herself with; Shikamaru Nara.

"Love is friendship set on fire."

They understand each other:

That being said, when Ino, Shikamaru, and Choji were in the survival part of the Chuunin Exams, they came upon Sakura and her unconscious teammates being approached by the Sound Nins. While Team Ten was hiding out in the bushes and plotting their next move, Shikamaru did something that was out-of-character for him to do. He looked over at Ino, examining her expression and reaction to the situation, and asked her if she was planning to help her ex-best friend or just let her try to fend for herself. This clearly struck a chord in Ino’s emotions as she realized what she needed to do. It also seemed to have shocked her to be asked this by Shikamaru, a guy who seemed too lazy to care or notice what she was feeling at the moment. Perhaps the stunned expression on her face is a sign that she has come to see the goodness in him.

Now let’s get to the point of this: why would Shikamaru ask this? It was obvious to anyone that Ino and Sakura were enemies and did not get along, yet he knew exactly what Ino was feeling and was pressuring her to do the right thing. This is because Shikamaru understands Ino quite completely, and can see what she really is beneath her hard-to-determine and shallow appearance, while most people cannot.

“And when the future hinges on the next words that are said, don’t let logic interfere- believe your heart instead.”

They help and care about each other:

Shikamaru is always the one to catch Ino when she does her jutsu, even though Choji is always available to help her too when that happens. It would seem that Ino's Mind Jutsu has become an excuse for Shika to hold her, get closer to her- as expected from a boy with an IQ over 200.

Right after Ino entered Kin’s mind in the exams, one of the Sound Ninjas told Shikamaru that they would kill Kin in order to defeat Ino if they had to. Shikamaru’s reaction was plain on his face: anger, worry, defeat, and immeasurable concern. He then automatically told Ino to get back into her body, because he knew that it was the only way to keep his girl safe from harm.

“Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we learned here.”

During the Preliminary matches, we see Ino cheering on Shikamaru from above before he started fighting Kin. Now, normally this wouldn't seem like anything out of the ordinary. However, Ino had just woken up after that gruelingly long match with Sakura, so wouldn't she be tired? Even Choji noticed how perky she was: "When did she get so darn...enthusiastic?"

When Ino finally started calming down about Shikamaru and started worrying about Sasuke again, Choji had an interesting thought that makes us all wonder: "All that hard work and she's cheering for Sasuke already? I feel sorry for Shikamaru." Wait, what? What was that, Choji? Meanwhile, Shikamaru's exact thoughts were; "I'm being treated like nothing now. I guess it can't be helped, I've been waiting to see this too." I find it significant that Choji concluded these things about Ino not only once, but twice, each time Shikamaru fought. When the creators repeat things like this, it's usually about something important, no? So does this mean that Shikamaru had been trying to impress Ino? The seriousness in their thoughts makes me come to believe that it’s true; Shikamaru has a thing for Ino and wants her to get her mind off Sasuke and to think about him instead...and even Choji knows it.

“The heart of a fool is in his mouth, but the mouth of a wise man is in his heart.”

At the next round of Chunin Exam matches, Shikamaru had to fight against Temari. Ino was encouraging him loudly once again, cheering for him to a point that it even scared Sakura. Why would she cheer him on so much? Though some will argue that it's only because he is her teammate and it's only ethical for her to care, we didn't see her cheering Choji on nearly as much. Her level of belief in Shikamaru and excitement for him at that moment was as strong as- if not stronger- than what she would demonstrate for Sasuke. And though Shikamaru complained about this, it was easy to see his satisfaction in it behind that little smirk.

“The course of true love never did run smooth.”

Shikamaru has also been known to say things about not liking 'that guy' (Sasuke). What reason does he have to say this? Honestly? I mean, Sasuke did nothing to insult or offend him. Nor did Sasuke even talk to the guy for that matter. The only logical conclusion to this is that Shikamaru doesn't like Sasuke because Ino is attracted to him. His apparent annoyance and anger when Ino flirts with or even mentions Sasuke makes this fact even more believable, showing that Shikamaru could be displaying a form of jealousy.

“Love that is not madness is not love.”

After Ino and Sakura finished their fight, they were both left knocked out and taken up to the others who were awaiting their turn. As shown in the episode, Lee and Naruto- both known to have an immense crush on Sakura- came running up to her and calling out her name in worry. Choji and Shikamaru also came running to see their wounded teammate, yet Shikamaru was the only one to call out Ino's name. Shikamaru, Running? Calling out the name of a 'troublesome woman' in desperation, the same way that Lee and Naruto did for Sakura? Not like him. Could it be possible that this is a sign of Shikamaru being infatuated with her? Personally, this makes me think that it's not only possible, but very probable.

“You’ll never understand how much I love you, and I’ll never answer why.”

In the episode where Team Ten meets to eat barbecue together, Shikamaru is wearing his newly-earned Chuunin vest. Choji and Ino were laughing about it, but Ino gave him a very nice compliment, something like: "Wow, even a lazy bum like Shikamaru somehow seems respectable all of a sudden!" At which point both Shikamaru and Ino started blushing and Shikamaru said; "Don't laugh..." (or, in the English version, "It's not that funny...") Not only did they both show bashfulness to her unexpected compliment, but perhaps her cute little "be a man" type of attitude towards him is a bit of a hint...or challenge.

Another add-in to this is right after, when we see Ino giving Choji a lecture about his weight issues. Shikamaru notices this and confronts Choji about this afterwards, saying that "most guys like girl's who have a little meat, it just looks healthier. I bet Ino would be twice as popular if she put on a little weight." If my theory about Ino's "be a man" attitude is correct, could it be that Shikamaru is challenging Ino to be a woman, the same way she was challenging him to be a man? Anyone else seeing a pattern here?

“Love is shown through your deeds, not in your words.”

They recognize each other:

In Shippuuden, though Ino obviously is attracted to Sai at first, she begins to recognize Shikamaru in a closer way during the Asuma incident; they are constantly at eachother's side. Right after Asuma is left severely hurt, Ino comes and helps Shikamaru to his feet, at which point the only word he can manage to get to come out of his mouth is her name. They exchange a long glance at each other, and then leave to join Choji and their wounded sensei. This, of course, is an obvious sign of them reaching a deeper connection with eachother.

"You have to meet a few wrong ones before you can appreciate the right one."

“A man falls in love with his eyes, a woman through her ears.”

And when the team plots to avenge Asuma, Shikamaru comes to get Ino from her house (flowershop?). Ino excitedly comes running up to him and asks him enthusiastically “We’re doing this, right?” at which point Shikamaru looks her in the eyes and gives her a cute little smirk. (And might i just add, Aww!) What could be more magnetic than that? It would seem that Shikamaru is adoring her determination and willingness, which is basically what Ino is made of. Therefore, it wouldn't be too hard to conclude that, in reality, what Shikamaru is actually adoring, is her.

“I wonder what he’s thinking when he looks at me and smiles…”

Later, when Team 10 is fighting against Hidan and Kakuzu, Ino calls out to Shikamaru because she is worried about him when he almost gets hit, and because of her distraction gets thrusted up and choked by Kakuzu with Choji. They are eventually forcefully released, and Shikamaru once again helps her up by sweeping Ino up in his arms during her vulnerable state, once again having that helpless emotion of concern in his eyes. Here we see them both go out of their way to try and save eachother, even more than usual. It's obvious to anyone that they have definitely developed a new level of closeness with eachother at the very least.

“The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost.”

Also, when Sai comes to accompany them with Sakura and Naruto, Ino simply addresses him as “Sai-San” instead of her usual, adoring form “Sai-Kun!” or "Sai-Sama!". This could be because her crush on him has subsided. Another rather blunt hint is when Ino punches Sai after he calls Sakura and Ino by their nicknames. Now, if Ino still liked him, would she have punched him? Remembering how flirtatious and bubbly she acted both when she first met Sai and obsessed over Sasuke, I think not.

“Absence diminishes small loves and increases great ones, as the wind blows out the candle and blows up the bonfire.”

It's in their blood:

Let's take a closer look at the parentals, shall we? Shikaku and Yoshino, Shikamaru’s parents, have nearly identical personalities to Shikamaru and Ino. Once Shikamaru questioned his dad about why he married such a ‘troublesome woman’ like his mom, and he answered “Because she has a soft side.“ Does Ino not nag and yell as much as Yoshino? Does Ino not have a soft side just like hers?

Also, why would Shikamaru even ask this? The only explanation is that he obviously has had the thought of a ‘troublesome woman’ on his mind for quite some time, and he’s trying to decipher why she’s the way she is and why the heck he would be attracted to her. Do you see where I’m going with this? Shikamaru is thinking of none other than Ino. There are no other kunoichi besides Ino who have the exact fierce/sweet personality that Yoshino does. Plus, the whole "You need to go train!" thing is said by both Yoshino and Ino, proving their similarites on a higher level.

“If you can’t get someone out of your head, then maybe they’re supposed to be there.”

YoshINO and SHIKAku. Do you see it? And why would there be only one girl in the new Ino-Shika-Cho team? Because the girl, Ino, is destined to be with one of her male teammates.

Here is why...

The Shika/Ino/Cho teams have been friends for generations. Now that Inoichi had a daughter instead of a son, their family name won't continue on. She'll have to take the name of her husband. But if she marries one of her teammates, then her line will still be connected to the Shika/Cho line, uniting the families. It's the only way for her family's legacy to continue. She'll 'have' to get married to Shikamaru, for the sake of her family, and her heart. (This paragraph brought to you by: crystal-lynnblud)

It would be possible for her to marry Choji in the future perhaps instead, but since she shows little or no hints of attraction to him throughout the series, it's more probable for her to end up with Shikamaru.

"To be your friend is all I ever wanted; to be your lover is all i ever dreamed."

The theory about Shikamaru's 'average girl':

As we all know, Shikamaru is very mature and has already thought up his plans for the future: "Marry someone who is not too ugly and not too pretty. Have two children, first a girl, then a boy. Retire after my daughter is married and my son becomes a successful ninja, and spend the rest of my life playing Shogi or Go. Then die of old age before my wife." It would seem as though he's planning this a little too carefully, wouldn't you think? Ino is an extremely intimidating girl, being loud-mouthed, confident, and very beautiful. Therefore, she fits nowhere in his plan of the 'average girl'.

True, we've all heard Shikamaru grumble and complain about not wanting to marry someone like his mother, but since when has Shikamaru's life not been ironic? (Ex: fighting girls on almost every battle even though he considers them "troublesome" and doesn't like the idea of hurting women, getting a decently high-ranked responsibility at a young age when he'd prefer to be an 'average ninja', etc.) I find it a bit ironic when Ino is the exact opposite of the kind of girl he'd want to marry, yet Shikamaru shows so many hints of attraction to her throughout the series (refer to earlier statements), don't you?

To be frank, it seems like he's only trying to convince himself that he doesn't love her. And who wouldn't be trying to do so? Like I said, Ino is intimidating, and switches crushes rather frequently. I would be scared, too.

The same goes for Ino. If she happened to fall for Shikamaru, it would be ironic, because he is nothing at all like the Handsome Prince Charming persona who she imagines herself being with. Shikamaru is a great guy, but let's face it; he's not exactly a looker. He's actually pretty average, wouldn't you say so? Hmmm. The two would really grow and change each other if the high-maintenanced girl married an average guy she never wanted, and vice-versa. Kishimoto seems to be all over the idea of irony and history repitition, so it would all fit, if that situation were to become true. And isn't that what the show is about, people bettering themselves and becoming stronger? Prove me wrong, but that certainly seems like an important building block in the series.

"Within you, I lose myself. Without you, I find myself wanting to become lost again."

Well, now you've heard my thoughts on the matter. I hope it made somewhat of an impact!

*On the 7th ending song for Shippuuden, it shows Kurenai, Sakura, and Ino standing side by side. Right after that little clip, it shows Asuma, Naruto, and Shikamaru standing side by side in the order in which the girl's were standing in. And, since it is widely known that Kurenai and Asuma are in love and Sakura has fallen for Naruto (referring to Naruto Shippuden)- and Naruto has always loved her - it's only logical to come to the conclusion that Shikamaru and Ino have fallen for each other as well, since the song is relating to Kurenai, Sakura, and Ino waiting for their love's to come home.

“Love, free as air at sight of human ties, spreads his light wings, and in a moment flies.”


this was written by: xheadstrongxinox

i just agree with her on everything!


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 7th, 2010 01:43 pm (UTC)
I agree with absolutely everything you said above regarding Shikamaru and Ino's relationship - I've always found it hard to explain why I believe so firmly in ShikaIno and ship them (quite) obsessively and this manifesto explained it all.

The only thing I disagree is with NaruSaku - I'm sorry I just had to express them but still I really enjoyed reading your manifesdto, and will be memming it <3
Feb. 12th, 2010 09:45 pm (UTC)
thank you. i found it hard too, but this wonderful woman said it better than anyone..and all credit goes to her!

really i agree, they may looked cute togher...but i like naruto with sai or as a silly paring..with ino. i just dont think saukra should have someone as cool as naturo. not EVEN sasuke is good enough for him..^_^
Feb. 7th, 2010 03:04 pm (UTC)
ShikaIno is the best. Shikamaru is meant to be with Ino <3
Feb. 12th, 2010 09:46 pm (UTC)
yayyy!!! i agree. i just wish i had more fanarts and fanfics of them!
Apr. 8th, 2010 08:14 am (UTC)
Ah, many thanks for this <3 I've just jumped on this ship and you just finished convincing me. ^^ & I agree-this ship needs more love n more of everything!
Apr. 8th, 2010 06:16 pm (UTC)
your very welcome! make sure to tell all your friends.
also i love your icon!! >///
Nov. 3rd, 2010 01:38 am (UTC)
I love your reasons! They're so true and so... wow! I enjoyed reading this for the second time (Hee hee!) and you really make me wish ShikaIno was cannon!
Also, the ending 7 (Long Kiss Goodbye) is real true. I was thinking about it earlier today and I got really happy and daydream-y! hahah!

I like this a lot! And let's hope ShikaIno happens :D
Nov. 3rd, 2010 03:29 pm (UTC)
Re: :D
thank you! and i do hope that they show more of this couple!!!
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 6th, 2011 11:10 pm (UTC)
All I have to say I agree with almost everything... I just think the NaruSaku in the end isn't exactly right cause Sakura is actually in love with Sasuke (as confirmed since chapter 540) & the big difference of NaruSaku/ShikaIno is that Naruto & Sakura are actually best friends/teammates with Sasuke soo SasuSaku is possible even though Naruto is close to making Sakura fall for him haha
Anyways great manifesto! ShikaIno ftw! <3
Feb. 20th, 2012 03:50 am (UTC)
This is amazing. Thank you for this. I just read some ShikaIno hate and it got me really upset, and I started searching anything ShikaIno so I could be amongst friends. This made me feel 10,000 times better and just reaffirmed the fact the my OTP is perfect and truly destined <3
Cariza Opana
Aug. 28th, 2012 02:56 pm (UTC)
Wow. Just.. wow. I honestly can't thank you enough for this! I feel so sad that my all-time favorite OTP is not getting enough love from the fandom these days, and even more sad that with all the ShikaTema scenes we're getting, it feels like the chances of them being together are really slim. This, however, made me feel tons better and it's wonderful to know that I'm not alone into thinking that they really do belong together. <3
So thank you, thank you, thank you so much for a great manifesto! ShikaIno always and forever <3
Jan. 20th, 2013 08:58 am (UTC)
Maria Angela Racho
Feb. 3rd, 2013 02:06 pm (UTC)
I totally agree with each and every of your points. :)

Though there is Temari who is also troublesome and has some traits similar to Ino's. Still, ShikaIno is way stronger than that because theirs is founded on friendship. Please try to convince me that Shikamaru will not end up with Temari... :(

About your analogy of Asuma-Kurenai, Shikamaru-Ino, Naruto-Sakura...i don't think it should be NaruSaku. The anime and manga has confirmed Naruto and Hinata already. I hope you could also update your ShikaIno manifesto.

Thank you sooo much for this one. :)
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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